Fwd: Ink-Stained Wretches (1921); Pizazz (1937)

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Tue Oct 8 03:33:04 UTC 2002

Barry Popik has asked me to pass along the following message; everything
below this line is from him. -- Jesse Sheidlower


   Where does "ink-stained wretches" come from?  With computers, perhaps the term no longer applies nowadays.
   The first four NEW YORK TIMES hits are all by Alexander Woollcott, and the first few are all in the theatrical pages.

   18 September 1921, NEW YORK TIMES, pg. 68:
   Certainly, it seems to prey upon the ink-stained wretches who turn out books and plays.

   I'm going through the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE from 1934, looking at the early columns of Lucius Beebe.  On Sunday, 8 April 1934, section V, pg. 2, cols. 6-8, Beebe talks about the late Henry Taylor Parker, famed drama critic of the BOSTON EVENING TRANSCRIPT.  Did Woolcott get the term from Parker?  From col. 7:

...and urging heaven to witness the harrowing incompetence of office boys (whom he invariably designated as "wretches")...


   There are "pizazz" hits in the classified ads of 22 May 1913 and 19 May 1935, but I'm goin blind finding those.  This one hints at the origin.

   26 February 1937, NEW YORK TIMES, pg. 3 ad:
Pizazz, to quote the Harvard Lampoon and Harpers Bazaar, is an indefinable dynamic quality.  Certain clother have it.

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